Tag Archives: night

a night at the Zoo with friends

Lighting up the dark with a wintery night time walk around Edinburgh Zoo’s Christmas Lights

I find a walk is always a fun way to meet up with other families, especially recently when due to the lock down restrictions meeting up indoors hasn’t been that easy to organise.

Get some exercise, tire out the kids, have a good chat and meet up with loved ones you haven’t seen for a while. And at this time of year there are plenty of night time or early evening walks being lit up around the city.

This week the Sketcher clan met up with pals at the Zoo and enjoyed a spectacular light trail around the animals enclosures. Although many of the residents were keeping a low profile it was good to see (hear and smell!!) the penguins wandering around in the dark!

There was plenty of other attractions to see, and games to play. Including a 360 light show wall and animations projected onto the rocks. Although our friends toddlers found the hedgerow filled with illuminated presents most entertaining of all.

You can see many venues in Edinburgh lit up for Christmas and I really like to see places you know and love transformed into something new. Personally I would of liked more animal themed sights as it was the zoo, but It was a great night, full of festive fun and with good company it makes it all the more memorable.

Read more and book your tickets for a fest night out at the Edinburgh Zoo website.

The Café Royal, on West Register Street.

CafeRoyal_colourThe Café Royal is a true Edinburgh landmark, with its beautiful lines and exquisite stonework it has long been a building I have wanted to draw.

Designed by architect Robert Paterson the elegant stained glass and Victorian plaster work make this a stunning building, especially when light up at night which it was when I visited just before Christmas.

Although there is currently plenty of construction work going on around the building, I was glad to find out The Café Royal is listed and will be preserved for future generations to appreciate its beauty.

This drawing was created for a Christmas present commission in December, it measured 25cm square and cost £145. If you would like to discuss commissioning and original drawing email me here.

This sketch was made with black ink and watercolour, both the colour and a black only version can be purchased as a mounted print from just £19.50. Email me for more information.

The Café Royal website


Bright lights in the dark sky as Edinburgh’s Christmas entertains

It’s that time of year when it’s dark going to work and dark coming home, that is unless you work in the centre of Edinburgh where the city’s Christmas lights brighten up the sky.


I’m sure many of you pass by this sign a couple of times a day, it is above the Jenners end entrance to St Andrews Square, currently unrecognisable as it is in full Festive mode. Inside you will find fair ground rides shows and market stalls for all the family, not to mention an ice rink around the Melville monument.


Definitely make time to visit if you can, and let Edinburgh’s Christmas put you in the festive mood! Also… be sure to pop in to Mimi’s Cake Cabin for some delicious treats and warming coffee.


Edinburgh’s Christmas website



Edinburgh’s Royal Mile turned into a Street of Light

StreetofLight_2015_1Last night I attended the first showing of the Street of Light, as 60,000 bulbs lit up the famous cobbled high street in Edinburgh.


The huge (19m high) installation came to life as lights flashed in time to recordings of the Edinburgh Choral Union Choir. A series of illuminated arches cross over the Royal Mile and created a tunnel of bright light which thousands of wide eyed people slowly walked through.


I drew these sketches during the 20 minute show, the first from the entrance and the second from half way down. I loved being surrounded by the lights and festive music, and although busy it wasn’t too packed. I wouldn’t have any worries about taking the Sketcher Twins (aged 4) up to see the show, I’m sure they’d love it.


The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association and is part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations. The event will run daily until Christmas Eve, and is a free event although you should reserve a ticket at the link below to ensure entry in case it gets busy.


Virgin Money Street of Light on Edinburgh’s Christmas website.